The Gray Amulet

I have this thing I wear around my neck, it’s an amulet. I tie it with a black string, the amulet itself is stone gray and round. It has a coarse feel and whenever I wear it under my shirt it rubs against my chest and it itches. I don’t know exactly how I came across this amulet but ever since I can remember I’ve always had it.

People I meet don’t notice it, I don’t know why. Maybe they choose to ignore it, it’s rarely hidden beneath my clothing. I wear it proudly, but, mostly I hate the itchy feeling. At one point I asked a friend what they thought of my amulet, they looked at me funny and asked what I was talking about. I pointed to my chest where it hang low and held it in front of their face.

“This!” I said “What do you think about this!”

“What? Your fingers? The air? What are you talking about?”

I soon realized that no one could see my amulet. This was strange because it was real to me, the coarse round thing weighting on my neck, the leather straps caressing my neck, the pulsating vibrations it gave off when I was emotional – especially when I got angry. I always thought it was just a figment of my imagination. I never knew what it meant, but that was five years ago.

This thing on my neck now speaks to me, it has voices. We have a relationship, it is my protector. When I get angry or sad bad things happen to people. For instance, one evening a man snatched my phone through a window. I sat there deep in thought, stewing in my anger. The amulet begun to pulse steadily and it became hot. It asked me what I wanted.

“My phone, I want my phone back.”

“Just the phone?”

“Yes, just the phone.”

“Nothing else?”

“No. I just want what’s mine.”

“What about justice?”

“What do you mean justice?”

“I can show you.”  “Do you want me to show you?”

“Yes, show me.”

The pulsing stopped and the stone went cold. I got home and slept. In the morning outside my window there was a brief knock. It was steady and urgent. I stirred up from my slumber and lumbered my way to the window. I wasn’t ready for what I saw. A young man with blacked out eyes stood there holding my phone.

“This is yours.” He said

Stiff with terror I stared at him, unable to move, unable to speak. The amulet begun pulsing. His eyes turned normal and as his pupils dilated he pointed at my chest.

“He said you want your phone back.”

The fear in his eyes was palpable. He was shaking, every bit of his body, shivering with a sweat breaking out thinly on his forehead. I stretched out my hand and took my phone. It felt foreign in my hand, clammy from his sweaty palms. He looked pleadingly into my eyes, waiting for some sort of reprieve or pardon. None came from me, the voice had gone silent but the pulsation was prominent. The amulet became hot, it felt like it was burning through my chest. In front of me his nose begun bleeding and his eyes turned blood shot. The blood was thick and dark red.

“What are you doing?” I asked the amulet “Stop!”

“You wanted to see. I’m showing you.”

His face became dehydrated like it was desiccating, the veins dried out on his forehead and he collapsed in a lump his body shaking out of control and then suddenly falling calm.

“What do I do with him?” I asked

“What do you want?”

“I want him gone.  Can’t have this outside my window.”

I was still scared and a cold sweat broke out on my back.

“Anywhere, just not here!” my voice was frantic.

“Can I have him?” he asked

“Sure, have him. Take him. Keep him.”

“Thank you.”

I fell into a deep sleep and woke up three hours later in my bed. Time seemed to have moved. My phone woke me up, it was my alarm. Everything seemed as hazy as a dream. I knew it wasn’t a dream. I knew what happened, I needed to get rid of the amulet. I was afraid of what it could do, where it came from, who gave it to me and most importantly how it would change my life. I went to grasp the leather strap on my neck, I could feel it on my skin but it seemed to disappear between my fingers like liquid air.

“What are you doing?” it asked

“Nothing.” I lied

“Why is your heart beating fast? Are you trying to get rid of me?”

“No.”

“You don’t know how to lie. I know you’re scared but I’m here to help.”

“Help? Who are you? Why are you helping me?”

“You know who I am. You just don’t remember. You were too young.”

“Remind me.”

“When you were barely six weeks in your mother’s womb you were not alone. Your mother had twins you and your brother.”

“What twins? My mother died when I was born.”

“Yes, she did, unfortunately. The midwife did everything she could.”

“Everything?”

“Yes, including invoking the spirits. The spirits were there that night.”

“What do they have to do with everything?”

“They wanted a sacrifice to save one. Your mother chose you. I was the sacrifice my essence was put in the amulet and it was tied around your neck. Only you can see it.”

“But… him… the guy at the window…”

“I let him see me, I am shy sometimes.”

“I don’t believe you. Am I going mad? I am talking to a damn amulet.”

I felt my mind slip away like it was alien in my skull. I wanted to reach in and pull it out, hold it in my hand and squeeze the insanity out till it dripped clean with sanity.

“Walk over to your mirror. The one on the wall.” The voice said

I obeyed, half hoping I wasn’t losing my mind. I stood there looking at my reflection. Then the mirror became hazy, like it was molten silver. My inside it was handprints and a face molded on it. It looked like it was trapped on the inside trying to get out. I could see the fingers move and the lips form as it pushed harder against the molten silver like substance.

“Help me get out…” it whispered “Help me like I helped you…”

I stood there frozen in terror.

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